In the spring of 1981 Deeksha took a group of her workers and a few others to New Jersey to prepare a large house which had been known as Kip’s Castle for the arrival of Osho a month later. The Castle was a 9,000 square foot, 30-room mansion, complete with turrets and a small chapel. There was a lot to do within a very short period of time. The main house and carriage house had to be completely remodeled. The castle was in Montclair sitting on the first ridge with an incredible view of New York City. You could even see the Statue of Liberty on a clear day. Our nearest neighbors were Salvatorian Fathers who lived in a monastery next door.
Osho arrived on June 1st. Because of his bad back, we had installed an electric chair to take him up the entrance stairs at the side of the house, inside was an elevator. He took one long look at the chair and walked up the stairs; he never used it.
The atmosphere of living and working at the Castle was so very different from Poona. Because of the small group compared to the throngs in Poona, Osho was free to walk around the grounds and check out our work. I remember one day running very quickly around the back of the house and almost running into him. I came to a skidding stop.
Soon after his arrival he started having driving lessons so that he could get his driver’s license. He would occasionally pick someone from the group (that would gather to see him off) to accompany him. Most everyone that rode with him was scared to death. Of course Osho was a fearless driver and that is what terrified the passengers. Before too long, the musicians began to gather for his departure and arrival which soon blossomed into mini celebrations. He would often give some small gift to someone who he picked out for that day. He once gave me a rather nice pen, which would later be used to write book orders. Our work schedule was not so demanding by this time because we had already completed work on his living quarters.
When he first arrived he shared a floor of the house with a tenant who had a lease from before the purchase. I forget the fellows name but he had a big dog. Occasionally Osho and he would meet in the elevator.
One day I was downstairs in the main office when Vivek came down. She said that she needed help programming the VCR that had just been purchased. I looked around and as there was no one else present said that I would be happy to.
I followed her up the stairs and into a room that had been outfitted for Osho to watch videos. He was sitting in his comfortable chair beaming as we entered. On the floor was the new VCR with its LED time flashing at 12:00.
Setting the clocks on these machines just required pushing the correct button until the clock moved around to the correct time. And on this VCR, like on most, there was one button for fast changing of the time and one for slow.
I sat on the floor and explained how to do so, while setting the time. The difficulty was that as I was focusing on the time (so that I did not go past the needed setting); there was a tremendous expansiveness taking place. It took a lot of awareness to remain grounded in time and simultaneously be dissolving into the timeless. And of course Osho would ask a question here and there to make it even more interesting.
I think I missed the mark the first time and passed the correct time, but I was sure not to do so on the second go round.
This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.